The king post trusses
The triangular king post trusses in the upper floor ceiling follow an engineering technique introduced in medieval times and still used today. They allow large spaces needed for a workshop.
In the Old Foundry the vertical central posts are steel hooks attached to the roof ridge; massive screws are visible at the bottom, connecting the posts to the horizontal lower beams at the ceiling level.
You cannot stop craning your neck looking up at this testimony of human ingenuity, picturing the stunning contrast with the renovated spaces.
The flint and brick walls
On a beautiful day, the charm of the Old Foundry is irresistible: the colours of the red bricks, the contrast with the blue sky, the wild ivy covering the flint and brick walls.
Romans introduced flints mixed with bricks in construction, as flints were sourced locally and were less expensive than cooked bricks. At the Old Foundry, the pattern of the walls has a simple geometric symmetry and a surprising smoothness at the touch. You cannot resist running your fingers on the coarse walls, and think about the people who built them and lived and worked seeing them every day.
The wall tie plates
If you look more closely, you’ll notice round large metal plates on the surface. They are attached to a steel rod that goes inside the joist, to provide lateral constraint to the walls. They were probably added decades ago, when the ends of the horizontal floor joists started to rot.
You can’t help think that structural engineering is the most amazing science, defying centuries and bragging about its immortality to us and to the future generations.